Why Pray? To Tend your Divine Relationship

queen annes lace

When St. Paul counsels us to “pray constantly,” or the Catholic Catechism calls prayer a “vital necessity,” even a good Christian might be forgiven for asking, “Why?”

Why is it necessary at all, if we believe that God knows our thoughts, loves us thoroughly and gives us all that we need?

That is, the sun will still rise, beauty will still overspread the land, suffering will still occur.

So why pray?

The poet Mary Oliver says, How to keep warm/is always a problem,/isn’t it?/Of course, there’s love./And there’s prayer.

And keeping warm – keeping our intentional relationship with God warm and alive, that is – may be the real point. Continue Reading

Off Track in Prayer? Join the Crowd!

candle and bibleBy Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

“Prayer … is a practice of attention, of attentiveness, an attitude of receptiveness to God’s sustaining presences.” Martin Poulsom, SDB

Reading a paper by Poulsom yesterday made me ask myself how I am coming to prayer. Am I paying attention? Am I coming to pray with an open heart, mind and soul?

I admit sometimes I’m off track. My own worries and distractions can undermine my attentiveness and receptiveness. Continue Reading

Be Still and Know that I Am God: Quieting down so you can hear

When a desert abba once said, “Watching means to sit in your cell and be always mindful of God,” he could have been talking about Centering Prayer. An ancient practice that may lead to contemplation, Centering Prayer helps practitioners, through silence, learn to rest in God – and know God. It is stunningly simple. Learn how.

A Clean Heart Create for Me, God

Turn away your face from my sins, blot out all my guilt.  A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit Psalm 51

When discerning about religious life it is essential to look at yourself and where you have been in your life.  My last blog posed the question of who loved you immensely and in some way introduced you to the intimate love of God as reflected in Psalm 139.  Today I look at Psalm 51, another passage I suggest for discerning about your personal history.

Psalm 51 is powerful because it recalls the loving, forgiving and nurturing God. Continue Reading